• Features
  • ‘Blue Mood (Al Mar)’ by Sander Coers

    Sander Coers (b. 1997) is an artist working with photography based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, whose work balances the borders of documentary and fiction. With a tender gaze, he seeks to establish new perspectives on masculinity by visualizing, revisiting, and (de)constructing memories in melancholic and highly romanticized worlds that possess a cinematic quality. With the coming-of-age theme recurring throughout his work, he reflects on stories of love, friendship, and self-acceptance drawn from his family, friends, and peers. Coers’ visual language is deeply inspired by nostalgic memories of his youth in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, infusing vivid hues and profound emotions into his portraits, stills, and landscapes, creating dream-like and melancholic worlds.

    Blue Mood (Al Mar) delves into the emotional landscape of adolescent men, drawing inspiration from my personal memories and the stories of friends and family. It serves as a sequel to my graduation work, Come Home, and features a cast of characters whom I guide through the transformative journey into adulthood. One of the key figures in this series is my cousin Jens, whose parents made the decision to relocate to Spain, close to the place we frequented during our childhood. Jens’s presence becomes the foundation upon which the narrative unfolds, with his face often being the only face fully visible to viewers. Thus, Blue Mood (Al Mar) simultaneously becomes a personal, intimate document and a universally relatable tale.

    Having grown up in Terneuzen, a small town in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, I initially felt a longing to escape its homogeneity and conformist nature. Moving to the big city provided the freedom to embrace individuality and escape the confines of conformity. However, over time, elements from my hometown began to play a more significant role in my photography. Paradoxically, the yearning to leave was replaced by a desire to revisit and relive the experiences and memories of my past.
    The visual language employed in Blue Mood (Al Mar) is reminiscent of a nostalgic visual essay, invoking a sense of yearning and reflection. The saturated colors employed in the photographs not only evoke a sense of warmth but also lend the images an aged quality, reminiscent of vintage photo albums. It serves as a conduit for fleeting memories and sensory experiences. My aim is to transport the viewer into a vivid and evocative fever dream.

    Sander Coers, whose work is included in the exhibition Foam Talent 2024-2025, will present his newest publication Blue Mood (Al Mar) at Foam Editions (14 Mar at 18:00 CET). The colourful photobook will be available with an exclusive limited print. In addition, Foam curator Aya Musa will host a Q&A with Sander Coers about this personal coming-of-age story.

    More on his website